Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Line

Brake lines are metal hardlines that are found on virtually all modern vehicles. They serve as the piping for the braking system, which operates using hydraulic pressure. The brake lines take the fluid from the master cylinder down to the wheels, through the flexible brake hoses and into the vehicle’s calipers or wheel cylinders. Most brake lines are made of steel to withstand high pressures and exposure to the elements. However, over time, they can develop problems. Any problems with the brake lines become a problem with the braking system, which becomes a safety issue for the vehicle. Usually faulty brake lines will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that service may be required.

1. Leaking brake fluid

The most common way that brake lines fail is that they begin to leak. They are usually made of steel and capable of withstanding pressures. However, they can sometimes become worn or damaged as the vehicle is driven and are susceptible to leaks. Depending on the severity of the leak, when a brake line fails, brake fluid may quickly leak out when the brakes are applied.

2. Brake Warning Light comes on

Another symptom that may indicate this problem has progressed further along is an illuminated Brake Warning Light. The brake light will come on when the brake pad wear sensors are activated and when the fluid drops below a certain level. Usually if the brake light comes on in relation to a failed brake line, this means that the fluid has leaked out below an acceptable level and that attention may be required.

3. Corrosion on brake lines

Another symptom of a problem with the brake lines is corrosion. Corrosion can be caused by exposure to the elements. As it builds up, this can weaken the lines making them more susceptible to leaks. Corrosion on brake lines are more common on vehicles that are driven in snowy climates where salt is used to remedy icy roads.

As the brake lines are essentially part of the plumbing for the braking system, they are very important to the overall vehicle safety. Usually damaged brake lines will need to be replaced, and because brake hard lines are all made at specific lengths and bent in very specific ways, special tools and knowledge are required to service them. For this reason if you suspect that one or more of the brake lines on your vehicle may be having a problem, have the vehicle’s brake system inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if your car needs a brake line replacement.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,607)

Rating Summary
20,295
844
177
86
205
20,295
844
177
86
205

Kenneth

20 years of experience
649 reviews
Kenneth
20 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Venice, California
Kenneth was engaging, informative, and knowledgeable. He didn't perform one of the requested services because he said it was unnecessary, saving me money and time. 10/10 would and will hire him again.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - Oil Change - Los Angeles, California
Kenneth was on time (on Thanksgiving no less!) and got the work done in a timely fashion. Highly recommended.

Pierre

9 years of experience
183 reviews
Pierre
9 years of experience
Honda Civic - Oil Change - Boston, Massachusetts
My first time using this service and Pierre was awesome! He put my mind at ease and I will definitely be a repeat customer!
Toyota Highlander - Oil Change - Auburndale, Massachusetts
Great mechanic. Made everything easy - showed up right on time, was nice and polite, and did exactly what I needed on the car. Will keep working with Pierre in the future for sure.

Josh

16 years of experience
60 reviews
Josh
16 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Oil Change - Naples, Florida
He came, did the job quickly and let me know what is needed to keep my van running at its optimal level.
Ford Thunderbird - Oil Change - Naples, Florida
Josh was on time, stayed until he completed the job, very knowledgable. He pointed out that the also need a oil change, came back and completed that job. Very nice young man.

Rodney

36 years of experience
442 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
Porsche 718 Boxster - Oil Change - Rancho Cordova, California
Rodney was knowledgeable and professional! Changed the oil in my 2019 Porsche (which is not an easy task.) I am already recommending him to others.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Brake Booster
If you notice the brake pedal is difficult to push, causes the engine to stall, or takes longer to stop the car, the power brake booster is failing.
How to Handle a Car With Total Brake Failure
Brake Brake failure is terrifying and most motorists consider it to be a worst-case scenario. Here are a few things to keep in mind in case you find yourself in such a situation. Awareness of your surroundings is key....
How Long Do Brake Rotors Last?
Brake rotors, sometimes called discs, are an important component of the braking system on any vehicle. The brake rotors are the part of...

Related questions

Is there any way I can bleed brakes without a scanner or special tool? Thanks!

Hello. If you are not able to get pressure to come to the calipers, you will have to use a scan tool to activate the bleed function of the abs. Otherwise, you will not be able to get fluid out...

someone added oil to brake fluid and hyundai sez entire system needs replaced at cost of $4000; are there any alternatives?

Motor oil damages ONLY the rubber components in the hydraulic brake system. Those rubber components are limited in extent and thus all of the rubber components at issue would fit in the palm of your hand. The problem is the...

I was driving the car and had to slam on brakes now they feel locked up what can it be

There are some recalls from Dodge for the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) which can possibly pertain to your vehicle. I recommend having the vehicle checked by a mechanic to assess the condition of your brakes or try having the dealer...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com